March 1st, 1973
The Honda Civic was introduced to the US market as an alternative to the inefficient cars offered by American car companies. The 1973 OPEC oil embargo made car owners aware of the advantages of fuel economy. Early Honda advertisements boasted “The Honda Civic. More miles per gallon than anybody.”
March 2nd, 1966
The Ford Motor Company celebrated the production of its 1,000,000th Mustang, a white convertible. The sporty, affordable vehicle was officially launched two years earlier, on April 17, 1964, at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. That same day, the new car debuted in Ford showrooms across America; almost immediately, buyers snapped up nearly 22,000 of them.
March 3rd, 1958
The first Subaru, the Subaru 360 was launched. At that time, Japanese automobile manufacturers were working on developing small cars according to a plan calling for the production of a “people’s car” as advocated by Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry. The Subaru 360 was developed in line with this concept.
March, 4th 1887
The Daimler “Benzin motor carriage” made its first test run in Esslingen and Cannstatt, Germany. It was Gottlieb Daimler’s first four-wheel motor vehicle. The “Benzin” has nothing to do with Carl Benz; at that time Gottlieb Daimler was Carl Benz’s major competitor.
March 5th, 1929
Fire destroyed the Los Angeles Automobile Show. Over 320 new cars, including the Auburn Motor Company’s only Auburn Cabin Speedster, were lost in the flames. In a page-one story, the Los Angeles Times reported: “Fire starting from a smoldering cigarette broke out at the Los Angeles Auto Show at 4:10 p.m. yesterday, and a half-hour later the $1,250,000 display at the corner of Washington and Hill streets, housed in four huge tents, was a mass of smoking embers, charred wood, blazing rubber, and twister steel.”
March 6th, 1900
Gottlieb Daimler, the pioneer of the internal-combustion engine and motor vehicles, died at the age of 65. In partnership with Wilhelm Maybach, he patented one of the first successful high-speed internal-combustion engines (1885) and developed a carburetor that made possible the use of petrol as fuel.
This week in Automotive History is produced by Branding Roar